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Google Brings the Hammer Down on Low Quality Press Release Websites

Colors of Google

Google changes how it looks at backlinks from press release sites.

One of the best and tried and proven ways to get backlinks to your website is to use press release syndication websites. These press release websites will publish any press releases. They are not very discriminating. These are free websites. Basically, all you need to do is format something in the form of a press release, and 9 times out of 10, these websites will publish your press release including their backlinks.

As you can well imagine, Google is not all too happy with this arrangement. First of all, it fails Google’s quality standards. Why? There is no editorial control. If you, automatically, get a link just by submitting a press release, then you can submit complete garbage and you would get backlinks. Second, there is no niche control. These press release websites would publish news regardless of the subject matter, regardless of category, regardless of whatever industry the press release is related to. In other words, In addition to being a manifestation of a lack of editorial control, there is also a lack of authority or expertise. In other words, this is just a rehash of the discredited free for all links system that Google penalized ages ago.

So, does this mean that press releases are completely worthless in terms of link building? Absolutely not. Google’s head of web spam, Matt Cutts, just made it clear that if you are using press releases just to build backlinks, you are basically just wasting your time. Chances are, if you are going about it this way, you are using all this free press release sites to get backlinks. Google is cracking down on them by actually manually decreasing your page rank if you get back links from these types of websites.

So, what does this all mean? Going forward. You should use only credible press release distributors. In other words, these distributors will help you reach credible journalists and specialty blog owners and opinion makers. Second, these responsible press release websites will not use naked links. In other words, they will not follow your link. So don’t expect to get a page rank and link juice from these websites. Third, you should expect SEO value to come indirectly. In other words, these press release sites should act the way press releases historically does. In other words, they get the news out to people who are interested in a particular type of news. These people, then, post news stories and news links that do pass page rank to you. Why the run about way? Well, that’s the way real news works. Real reporters look at press releases to see if there are story ideas there. They then follow up with the people who issue the press release to write their own stories. The stories that they end up writing are legitimate, authoritative stories. So, Google then uses that paradigm and counts the links created by that editor controlled and highly and tightly regulated process over the open free press release system that currently exist. Expect free press release sites to completely lose all their SEO value within a short period of time.

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